It isn’t often that a free, completely online English-language Israeli medical
journal is launched for the interested public around the world. Since the
beginning of February, a senior physician at the Hebrew University-Hadassah
Medical Faculty and a health researcher at the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute
have been in charge of the Israel Journal of Health Policy Research
The Web-based-only journal is funded by the Israel
National Institute for Health Policy Research, which is financed by the Israel
Health Council. The articles’ peer reviewers as well as the co-editors work on a
voluntary, unpaid basis because they believe it is important to get issues
discussed both within the country and overseas.
“The journal seeks to
promote intensive intellectual interactions between scholars in Israel and
abroad regarding current issues in Israeli healthcare, as well as recent
developments around the world that are relevant to Israel," the co-editors told
The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
“It will deal with all aspects of health
policy, health services research, public health, health promotion, health
economics, healthcare management and the ethics, sociology, and political
science of healthcare in Israel. The ultimate aim of these intellectual
interactions is to contribute to the development of health policy in Israel and
around the world.”
The IJHPR publishes an average of two major articles
monthly, each of them accompanied by a commentary by a leading figure in the
field that highlights the article’s international significance.
issue released on Wednesday compares the use of donated ova in Israel (which is
very liberal) and Austria (which is very strict); and the economic effects of
interventions to reduce obesity in Israel.
The journal is being published
by Biomed Central, the leading publisher of peer-reviewed open access journals,
which now issues some 230 such titles on the Internet. It is thus the first
Israeli journal to be produced in cooperation with the British-based
Yisraeli, who is head of the medical faculty’s department
of health policy, healthcare management and health economics, a former Health
Ministry director-general and currently the ministry’s chief scientist, said the
readership is divided equally between Israelis and foreigners (including some
from Lebanon and Egypt).
The initiative came from Rosen, who has been
discussing and planning the journal with Yisraeli for more than two years. A
leading printed and online medical journal is IMAJ (Israel Medical Association
Journal) started more than 10 years ago, but it deals with clinical medicine and
not health policy.
“We can already see there is a need for it,” the
co-editors said of the new publication. “We expect to have a high impact factor
and be cited by other journals. While most of the authors will be Israeli and
most of the commentary from abroad, we want both audiences and to influence
health policy as well as increase exposure abroad to Israeli health policy
issues.” The journal is likely to encourage partnerships between Israelis and
foreigners in the field, added Rosen.
The editors said that when online,
journal articles can reach the readership quickly after undergoing editing and
peer review. But they do not think print medical and health journals will
disappear in the foreseeable future.